LeBron James is already widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players to ever live. That said, in the eyes of some, he still has a ways to go before he can claim Michael Jordan’s GOAT mantle.
This week, Shaquille O’Neal appeared on the All Things Covered podcast and offered his thoughts on how James can one day surpass Jordan.
“I think LeBron James is looking to tie Kobe and tie Jordan with championships,” O’Neal said.
“If he tied Mike, I think people will probably lean a little bit more towards LeBron being the best player in the world.”
If the title chase ultimately proves elusive, there is another route James can go. He can target the ultimate NBA individual statistical record: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s long-held points record.
“He already passed Kobe and Jordan in points … he’s gonna be creeping on Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] too. I think he’s looking to pass Kareem,” O’Neal added.
This past week, Michael Cooper did an interview where he was asked who he viewed as the NBA’s GOAT. His answer was illuminating, much in the same way Shawn Kemp’s was.
“That is such a loose term for great players: the G.O.A.T. Because you have to realize that everybody played in their own decade and era. If we could go back and had this ability to make everybody 23 or 24 at the same time, then we could say that,” Cooper said.
DeMar DeRozan kept it real. https://t.co/jZHJE4N9uE
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 31, 2020
“What’s happening in the NBA now? LeBron is probably the greatest player to ever play the game. Put him back in the ’80s with Magic, Michael Jordan, George Gervin, Kareem — he would probably be in the mix with all of them, so the G.O.A.T. for right now is definitely LeBron.
“But try to put all those guys in a lump and pull out one. You are going to get a different answer from 10 different people.”
James turned 36 this week, leading many to wonder how many more years he truly has at his current peak playing level. For now, he has shown no signs of slowing down. And if he can continue at this pace for just a few more seasons, there is no reason not to believe that he will eventually go down as the greatest to ever play the game.
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